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Jackson Penrose Serfas ’34

Published in July 19, 2006, issue

Jack Serfas, a prolific writer of letters to the editor of several papers including The New York Times, died Aug. 4, 2005, it recently was learned. He was 94 and believed to be our oldest classmate.

Jack was a student of American history and an authority on the life of Maj. Gen. George A. Custer of the famed 7th Cavalry. Among the subjects he discussed in letters to newspapers was "the Custer Doctrine" of women serving in the Army and, more recently, why "Philadelphia should be proud that a street [Custer Street] was named after him."

Jack, who was single and lived in Drexel, Pa., since 1984, also commented in letters on subjects as varied as the sighting, in 1986, of the rare ivory-billed woodpecker in Cuba; the background of S.S. Kresge, the founder of the Kmart ("K for Kresge") chain of variety stores; and a correction of the myth that George Washington threw a silver dollar across the Delaware River, "nor did he throw one across the Potomac River, as some people say." It was the Rappahannock River. "I saw a reenactment of this event on Washington's birthday in 1936 ... ."

Jack is survived by two nephews, John P. and Stephen L. Klingman.

The Class of 1934

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